Gullible bidders may have lost millions of shillings to a web of corrupt senior officials at the Kilifi County Government.
It has been established that senior official at the procurement office and the Department of Lands, Energy, Housing, Physical planning and Urban Development are battling extortion allegations in a tender bid that was cancelled mysteriously.
The County had invited bidders for the construction of a Solid Waste Treatment Plant at Casuarina in Malindi Sub County.
The tenders were advertised in March2021 as authorized by the Head of Supply Chain Management in the County.
One bidder is said to have lodged a complaint at the Anti-graft agency (EACC) after losing over 3Million shillings termed as “facilitation fee” by senior officials at the county.
Plans for the Sh 89 million plant have been in the offing since the year 2016 when the county Assembly adopted the Solid Waste Management Bill 2016.
However, there has been minimal effort from the County to set up a serious waste treatment plant even as the Malindi Dumpsite continues to be an eyesore.
The Anti-graft agencies are treating the matter with great concern after receiving numerous complaints from bidders who were promised the lucrative tender deal.
Documents in our possession indicate that Librio Africa Limited were the successful bidders and were given the notification of award letter on 6th May 2021.
But another letter dated 22nd November 2021 cancelled the letter of award on the grounds that the company issued false information.
This, according to the company was in line with section 55(5) of the Public procurement and Assets Disposal Act 2015.
Officers from the company claim that they paid over 3million shillings to senior officers at the county as facilitation and processing fee.
Their efforts to get clarification from the County have been futile.
They claim that they have incriminating evidence showing how the officers took 3.1m from one of the suppliers in office and later terminated the contract since he/she did not meet all their dues.
It is worth noting that in February last year, the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) directed the County Government of Kilifi to urgently regularize operations at the Malindi dumpsite.
The environmental watchdog had written to the county government, giving it a ten-point plan to ensure that there is no further pollution of the environment at and around the dumpsite.
It complained that the dumpsite posed a health hazard to them and that its continued stay at the area would also affect tourism since a number of tourist establishments were surrounding it.
The County has been synonymous with cases of extortion and this may be one of the many other cases where unsuspecting bidders are duped.
In 2018, police linked the murder of a trader to a cartel who was out to wipe out Sh 9 million debts he had allegedly given to a woman who presented herself to him as a person capable of getting business for him in Kilifi County.
A police officer who investigated the murder of the Nairobi businessman claimed that a woman detained at Shimo la Tewa prison was the main suspect and mastermind of the killing.
One of the investigative officers who sought anonymity said that a senior detective who once served as a DCI in Mombasa urban is interfering with the process.
“It’s so sad, we can’t move fight corruption yet senior DCI officers from the Headquarters keep on threatening us.” He said.